The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light.
2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”
made his light shine in our hearts
to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
How grateful we are
Ministry to Pastor’s Wives.
The ministry among pastor’s wives is g-r-o-w-i-n-g. Barb traveled to Salamanca, a city approximately 4 hours away, to present the ministry Red de Amor (LEADNet) to the pastor’s wives in that area of the country. There was an enthusiastic response from the 35 present with a desire to continue expressed by the planning of the next meeting thd 19th of January. One of the young women’s eyes filled with tears when she first heard of the ministry. After the meeting last week she comment: “This is EXACTLY what I need!”
Some months ago a mother and daughter came to the Center requesting help. The presenting problem was concern for the son who was becoming more and more aggressive. For the second session I requested that the whole family come, which they did and we began the process of finding more workable solutions. For the second family session the husband/father did not show up, which was a bit surprising to me, though not to the other family members. The focus shifted to the husband/father’s problem with alcohol and neglect of the family. I began preparing the family for a respectful, loving intervention, when the husband came to the next session, willingly investing effort into the process. The father is staying home more and paying attention to the family. They have been attending consistently and have united much more in order to support their son/brother.
Please pray for the upcoming continuing education courses in Family Counseling for pastors and lay leaders. Enough people have expressed interest to form two classes. Between now and the first week of January we want to register people for the two classes since there is a maximum limit of 10 people in each one.
I’d like to give you an idea of how things are progressing in our ministry with marriages and families through the Marriage and Family Training Center of Guadalajara.
I currently have from 8 to 10 therapy sessions each week to collaborate with marriages and/or families in their work to find different ways of approaching and solving their difficulties. I would like to have the freedom to give specific examples of the advances they are making, though my obligation to guard confidence limits that possibility.
Last month I spoke at a couples’ dinner in a local Baptist church beginning a series of workshops on the theme of “Cultivating Love between Partners”. The first meeting emphasized the need to “prepare the soil” so the subject was the importance of friendship as a healthy base for a marriage relationship and how to promote friendship. Last Sunday was the second of the series and the idea was to “get rid of the weeds” so the task was to identify the most destructive tactics used by couples in their conflicts and critical moments. Once identified the goal is to put a stop to them so that their negative effect is minimized.
This weekend, Nov. 2 – 3, Barbara and I are travelling to Aguascalientes (about 3 hours away) for a workshop on constructive discipline in a Baptist church which is pastored by a former associate pastor from Grace of God Church in Guadalajara.
The second weekend of November will find us leading a couple of workshops at a local church touching on conflict resolution and understanding adolescence.
Barbara and I are also preparing for the possibility of two concurrent continuing education courses in marriage and family therapy for pastors and lay counselors that will begin in January. Classes take place once a month for 18 months and cover the theological basis for marriage, the social context of the family, practical psychology, the family life cycle, the family system, and pastoral care of the family. We hope to have from 15 to 20 persons enrolled.
Thank you for praying!
Last weekend I travelled to Rincon de Guayabitos on the Mexican Pacific Coast with 62 other women for a three day retreat. Nothing like a drive through mountains, orchards of banana, mango and avocado trees followed by a view of the ocean to turn one’s thoughts to the Creator!
The theme of the retreat was “Time to Heal” and we focused on the life of Joseph, considering his confidence in the sovereignty of God and His ability to transform “bad” in our lives to “good”. Genesis 50:20.
With lots of time to walk on the beach, jump in the waves or swim in the pool, we enjoyed being with each other.
The serious times brought us to think about the wounds, trials, and losses in our own lives and drew out the question: Am I willing to trust God with all that I am and all that happens to me in my life? Will I trust Him to use ALL for His plans and purposes?
We experienced very real spiritual warfare. We all know what it is like when the electronics don’t work as we wish they would. Well, that happened continually. The computer wouldn’t play the music, the speakers would fade in and out, and at times the area was so dark, the ladies couldn’t read their Bibles or the handouts. During the final session we received taunts from people in the pool (directly behind these ladies)…”Alleluia” followed by laughter. While I spoke they screamed and laughed…but we carried on. I praise God that His word is alive and active and can reach the innermost parts of the heart no matter what is going on around us.
Conversations with some of the women led me to the conclusion, that, as usual, God was at work. And I rejoice.
We pray for much fruit!
Thank you, again.
Last Wednesday, July 25th, Janet Johnson and I, along with her team of ladies from Monterrey, Mexico, offered a breakfast to the wives of pastors of the Mexican Baptist Convention. Eighty four ladies attended the event.
It was a time of blessing,
fellowship and prayer.
We anticipate that this will be the beginning of more small groups of pastor’s wives across the country. We are excited that some of already asked how they could begin a RED de AMOR (LEAD-Net) in their area.
Please pray for us as we join with these faithful servants to learn to
- love God more,
- love each other more ,
- and bear fruit in joy.
Goodbye to family, friends, cardinals, and Caribou coffee…
Hello to colleagues, friends, opportunities, challenges, papaya and real tacos,…
We are back in Guadalajara and ready to go to work.
Please pray for
- clear direction for the location of the Marriage and Family Training Center,
- important connections with church leaders and other professional counselors,
- growth and strengthening of the ministry to wives of pastors,
- and, as always, wisdom in guiding marriages and families to healthy relationships.
According to Converge Worldwide language, we have been HAMsters for the past year: Home Assignment Missionaries. We joyfully announce that we are “dancing hamsters” today.
Our tickets to return to Mexico have been purchased. We will be flying from Iowa to Guadalajara on May 21st.
It has been an amazing year. We will remember with fondness the times spent with each friend, each missions committee, each church. Please join us in giving praise and thanks to our faithful, unchanging God.
Would you also join with us in prayer for the following requests?
- Readjustment to life in a large city; settling into our home.
- Wisdom in the first steps for beginning the Marriage and Family ministry anew.
- Location of offices.
- Efficient networking with churches, pastors and other professionals.
We have received the final word:
Permission to return to Mexico!
CELEBRATE with us. We are so very grateful for the churches and individuals who continue to faithfully give to the ministry to build strong marriages and healthy families. We praise God for those who responded to the increased need for financial support. Thank you.
We have a few more weekends of travel plans and then our focus will be on our arrival in Mexico. Look for more specifics in a couple of weeks.
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to His power that is at work within us,
to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations,
for ever and ever! Amen.
Family. We are sure you can imagine our joy at being within huggable distance to our children and grandchildren. This year we have all been in Iowa, no more than a 2 hour drive away. We’ve had special dinners, coloring fests, kick ball games, Wii competitions, LEGO building sessions, etc., etc. It has been a rich time.
Partners. We can hardly find the words to express how amazing (awesome, wonderful, marvelous, encouraging, inspiring, humbling, touching, heart-swelling) it has been to visit both churches and individuals who have partnered with us in the ministry in Guadalajara. So often we have been encouraged to “Keep on keeping on” in obedience to the call because of your faithfulness in both prayer and economic support.
Friends. Our lives are rich with friendships that have stood the test of time and distance. We’ve hiked in the Rocky Mountains, grieved together over the loss of loved ones, laughed over stories of grandchildren, and celebrated our friendship.
Tools. This year has given us the opportunity to add some tools to our kit for ministering to families and couples. We are now certified presenters for “Couple Communication” and “Prepare and Enrich”. Lynn has also met weekly with a supervisor discussing a therapy model. Several churches have given us the opportunity to present workshops and seminars which have kept “old tools” sharpened.
We are waiting for the final OK from Converge Worldwide International headquarters. We are primed to make our plans to return to Guadalajara in May. We will keep you posted.
Lynn and Barb
That’s how many months of our home assignment we have completed. That means three more months until we return to Mexico in May.
That means we still have time to be physically present with our kids and grandkids.
That means we still have opportunities to prepare ourselves for ministry in Guadalajara by taking seminars and workshops.
That means we can visit the final 5 out of a total of 33 churches that support the ministry in Mexico.
And, it means we can continue to contact potential partners with the intent of raising our support level to 100%, allowing us to return to Mexico.
Feb. 19 The Rock Southwest of Littleton, Colorado
Feb. 25 Crow Hill Bible Church of Bailey, Colorado
March 4 Grace Baptist Church of Anaconda, Montana
March 11 Broomfield Community Church of Broomfield, Colorado
April 29 Harvest Baptist Church of Boulder, Colorado
We are deeply grateful for our partners in ministry. So many of you have supported what we are doing in Mexico for over 20 years. If God permits it, we have 8 more years that we desire to serve in Mexico.
We have been greatly encouraged by the progress we have made toward reaching our goal of being 100% supported by the middle of May. We are taking a bold step to invite those of you who read our blog to consider participating financially as well as prayerfully in building healthy marriages and strong families in Mexico. If you have been thinking of increasing your support or becoming a new team member, click on the following link to join us:
Our thoughts can’t help but turn to our return to Mexico and we would like to ask you to join us in praying that the Lord will guide us to an office location that is centralized in the city of Guadalajara and that will offer space for growth as the ministry expands. And secondly, that through networking with other professionals we will connect with the person who will eventually take over the directorship of the Marriage and Family Training Center.
Introducing the idea of a chocolate frosted cake donut
at a little bakery in the
Skipping with grandchildren on the pedestrian
mall in Iowa City.
Joining a Precepts Bible Study in Bailey, Colorado.
Teaching a grandchild
how to dunk graham crackers in milk.
Volunteering at the River Community Church Food Bank in Iowa City.